Hay hunger


Hay hunger


THE weather could have an ongoing impact on hay supplies over the coming months, as farmers scramble to secure enough feed for winter.

Demand for hay in South Gippsland is higher now than it has been for many years, off the back of a low yielding hay and silage season followed by a hot and dry summer.

Many farmers started feeding earlier than usual, which has placed pressure on their hay supplies.

Hallston hay contractor Colin Kelly said a lot of Victoria’s hay supply had been bought.

“I have been doing this for 12 or 13 years, even through drought, and there has been more hay coming in to Gippsland now than ever before,” he said.

“Demand is still pretty high for hay, but a few weeks ago when we got a bit of rain it slowed people up. But after another hot week of weather, people are in need again.

“We are bringing down eight to 10 semi loads per week.”

Mr Kelly said although farmers were buying more hay, they were fortunate prices were not excessive.

“Not yet, but it is hard to know what will happen. By winter prices will increase, especially if we get a wet, cold season,” he said.

“There is definitely not the supply up north to cover needs. The hay isn’t going to be there later on. If you have it in the shed now, that is your insurance.”

Mr Kelly said demand going forward was going to hinge on how autumn unfolds.

“There is a lot of hay still available now, but who knows by the winter. There isn’t a lot of shedded hay in Victoria that will come on to the market for the winter,” he said.

Mr Kelly said of the hay he purchases, 90 per cent was from northern Victoria and southern New South Wales.

“Local Gippsland hay is pretty much non-existent although there are some small pockets in East Gippsland,” he said.

“The quality of the hay has been really good. Some of the NSW hay got a bit of rain on it during the curing, which is providing a cheaper option.”

Chris Brown from Browns Stockfeed in Leongatha said hay was getting harder to find and afford.

He said there was mixed quality available, however most of the hay his company is sourcing at the moment had been shedded.

“The price of good quality hay has been increasing steadily since the start of summer. If it gets too expensive, it becomes unviable for farmers to purchase,” he said.

“I think there is a fair bit of hay out there. Farmers will just have to pay the money. There will be people up north holding on to it ready to sell when the price suits them.”

Mr Brown said demand for hay was still strong.

“We caught up a fair bit on our jobs in the last few weeks, but there has been a lot more demand again now after the dry, hot weather,” he said.

Mr Brown said if winter was wet and cold, many farmers would not have the fodder required or the space to store it.

“A lot of farmers don’t have any hay or fodder from the spring time, so that could be an issue and people have trouble with what they can store as well,” he said.


Hay there: Colin Kelly from Hallston has been busy delivering hay this season, more than he has seen come into South Gippsland for more than 30 years.

Hay there: Colin Kelly from Hallston has been busy delivering hay this season, more than he has seen come into South Gippsland for more than 30 years.


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Posted by on Mar 16 2016. Filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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